John Wooden, fully John Robert Wooden

John
Wooden, fully John Robert Wooden
1910
2010

American Hall of Fame Basketball Player and Legendary Coach

Author Quotes

Profound responsibilities come with teaching and coaching. You can do so much good–or harm. It’s why I believe that next to parenting, teaching and coaching are the two most important professions in the world.

Knowledge alone is not enough to get desired results. You must have the more elusive ability to teach and to motivate. This defines a leader; if you can’t teach and you can’t motivate, you can’t lead.

Leadership is the ability to get individuals to work together for the common good and the best possible results while at the same time letting them know they did it themselves.

Perfection is what you are striving for, but perfection is an impossibility. However, striving for perfection is not an impossibility. Do the best you can under the conditions that exist. That is what counts.

You can do more good by being good than any other way.

I believe it’s impossible to claim you have taught, when there are students who have not learned. With that commitment, from my first year as an English teacher until my last as UCLA basketball teacher/coach, I was determined to make the effort to become the best teacher I could possibly be, not for my sake, but for all those who were placed under my supervision.

When we aren’t alert, we miss opportunities to improve ourselves. We should always watch for circumstances or situations that can help or harm us and be eager to learn from these encounters.

We should never let ambition cause us to sacrifice our integrity or diminish our efforts in other areas. However, we need to remember that we never reach a serious goal unless we have the intention of doing so.

We can give without loving, but we can’t love without giving. In fact, love is nothing unless we give it to someone.

Sincerity may not help us make friends, but it will help us keep them.

Time spent getting even would be better spent getting ahead.

Regarding balance — it’s the most important component in basketball and it is a very important part of life. We must always keep things in perspective so that we can maintain emotional control.

We can become great in the eyes of others, but we’ll never become successful when we compromise our character and show disloyalty toward friends or teammates. The reverse is also true: No individual or team will become great without loyalty.

Kindness makes for much better teamwork.

Make no mistake, I always want to win, but I never fight with an opponent. My fight is within me — it is the struggle to be the best I can be at whatever I do.

We almost have to force or drive ourselves to work hard if we are to reach our potential. If we don’t enjoy what we do, we won’t be able to push as hard as we need to push for as long as we need to push to achieve our best. However, if we enjoy what we do and if we’re enthusiastic about it, we’ll do it better and come closer to becoming the best we can be.

There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.

I wanted my players to always be searching, especially for truth. I wanted them to know what they believed and be able to defend it. Truth will always stand the test of scrutiny.

I believe we are most likely to succeed when ambition is focused on noble and worthy purposes and outcomes rather than on goals set out of selfishness.

Don’t permit fear of failure to prevent effort. We are all imperfect and will fail on occasions, but fear of failure is the greatest failure of all.

Be more concerned with what you can do for others than what others can do for you. You’ll be surprised at the results.

Be slow to correct and quick to commend.

Never be disagreeable just because you disagree.

Approval is a greater motivator than disapproval, but we have to disapprove on occasion when we correct. It’s necessary. I make corrections only after I have proved to the individual that I highly value him. If they know we care for them, our correction won’t be seen as judgmental. I also try to never make it personal.

A leader’s most powerful ally is his or her own example.

Author Picture
First Name
John
Last Name
Wooden, fully John Robert Wooden
Birth Date
1910
Death Date
2010
Bio

American Hall of Fame Basketball Player and Legendary Coach